I always love coming to this show. There are so many toy companies here, the place is so huge, and the environment is so top flight, the show is run so professionally that it really reminds you of what a sophisticated and big industry the toy industry really is.
After a full day here I can tell you two things: It is cold, and I mean North Pole cold, and attendance is down. The cold I can attest to from the experience of simply going outside. The attendance I estimate based upon taxi driver comments, ease in getting into restaurants and traffic on the streets.
I am not surprised by the reduced attendance as it has been a difficult economic year in Europe. When times get more challenging, companies cut down on the number of people they send and some smaller companies simply stay home and wait until next year.
What is the impact? Exhibitors I have spoken to so far say that walk-ins are down but they are having very good appointments with their major customers. One exhibitor told me that he is having a good show here in Nuremberg and despite the downturn in Hong Kong attendance, their business as a result of that show was up three times over last year. So, bottom line, attendance is more an indication of the macro-economic environment than actual business transacted.